In its annual report issued this month, the U.S. Department of Education found that less than half of the states are meeting their obligations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Specifically, only 22 states were found to appropriately serve students with disabilities under special education law. In the report, a state fell into one of the following categories:
1. Meets the requirements and purposes of IDEA;
2. Has needed assistance in implementing the requirements of IDEA for one year;
3. Has needed assistance in implementing the requirements of the IDEA for two or more consecutive years; or
4. Needs substantial intervention in implementing the requirements of IDEA (six or more years).
The Department of Education determined that California falls into the third category as to it's ability to meet the needs of children who are from three to twenty-two-years-old because our state has needed assistance to meet the requirements of the IDEA for at least two or more consecutive years. This places California in the same category as several states and territories such as Texas, Louisiana, the Virgin Islands, Vermont, and Arkansas. Only the Bureau of Indian Education is rated lower.
Let's get with it, California, and meet our special education obligations to our children!
Martha Millar Law
A special education law firm serving children with special needs in California.